Classroom coding made easy with hyperPad



The world’s largest Rube Goldberg machine begins with a mechanical hen laying an egg and ends with the lighting of a life-size Christmas tree in Riga, Latvia. There are 412 steps involved in the nearly five minute chain reaction. That makes it a bit more than you might find in a typical high school assignment. As complex as this project is, it served as an inspiration. This prompted one man to develop a platform that would encourage even younger students to create complex programming projects. Best of all, it teaches coding in the classroom without the students needing to know how to code.

Inspiration for HyperPad’s Code-Free App Building Platform

Of course, hyperPad isn’t designed just for Rube Goldberg virtual machines in high school classrooms.

Originally launched as GamePress in 2012, hyperPad was initially used to democratize game and application development. It was particularly targeted at hobbyists and aspiring developers with little to no experience in coding and application development. Saadat and his team designed the platform for this purpose.

But the stories kept pouring in as artists picked them up to create interactive portfolios of their graphics. Musicians used it to create rhythm games that brought their tunes to life. Storytellers have created rich multimedia books. The children explored new worlds and built their own worlds. Teachers have found it to be a useful tool in classrooms from early grades through post-secondary. Sadaat quickly learned that the HyperPad was useful even beyond coding in the classroom.

What we found was that on the education side, teachers were coming to the platform and using our app to teach kids about programming, science, engineering, physics and more.

Perhaps the most obvious application in the classroom is children’s learning to code, which is made more relevant by the fact that schools in countries ranging from Estonia to Singapore are increasingly including programming in the classroom. Kindergarten to Grade 12 programs.

“Let’s say you want to do a quick little game,” he says. “Traditionally, you had to spend hours setting up your scene before you even got to the point of adding a graphic or a character. With something like hyperPad, you skip all of that.

All learners have to do is drag items onto a canvas, and hyperPad turns them into part of the game or app.

With a drag-and-drop interface, all students have to do is type in an object from a menu. They place it in their virtual world and hyperPad takes over. The flowchart logic system and integrated physics engine take care of the rest.

Useful beyond learning to code

Coding this way can look a bit like finger painting or sculpting with plasticine, Saadat adds. It is this element that makes the perfect platform for education in the early years. “There is this physical feeling where you are handling something with your hands.”

But it’s not just future coders who dive into the app and get their hands dirty. Students learning physics can see how different forces like gravity and friction are applied to objects in different situations. Young musicians can discover different notes, harmonies, sounds and rhythms.

“An art-centric university in the United States uses animation to create games from artwork, using iPads as a portfolio for a fun experience to present art in a way unique to consume, ”explains Sadaat.

Even teachers are getting into it because of how they can create engaging content specifically tailored to meet the needs of their classes, he adds. “They don’t rely on something that must already exist for them… they’re the ones who know this class best and they don’t have that barrier of entry either.

Code-free and barrier-free

For Alex D’Alton, student experience coordinator at the English Language Institute at Renison University College, codeless game-based platforms like hyperPad are enabling the future of education.

Basically, games are meant to be fun. But that’s not the end of a game. A game is all about getting your message out – raising awareness, educating, or something else that you would like to share with your users.

D’Alton works with students from all over the world who have varying backgrounds, nationalities, age groups and backgrounds. And with this in mind, giving them an effective means of expression and creation is essential.

The games are very interesting because they transcend language barriers. You can teach someone or you can learn from a game without it sounding so academic to you. It can provide a more relaxed learning environment where creativity can flow and where there is not the pressure of a language barrier.

Codeless Coding in the Classroom in a Software-Heavy World

Codeless platforms also reduce or eliminate skill barriers, he adds, noting that in a software-heavy world, coding can become so complex that it excludes more people than it includes. . Learning coding in the classroom, especially in an easily accessible way, helps.

This is part of the reason why code-less solutions are gaining popularity in industries outside of education. ” We saw [programming] languages ​​evolve, reducing the number of lines of code from millions to just 10 … website development, which was a huge undertaking in the early 2000s, has all but disappeared because of the big website readers that allow you just drag and drop, ”says D’Alton.

And he expects the same to happen in classrooms, regardless of subject or grade level, thanks to increased access and mobility through devices like tablets. . “This is where I think you’re really going to see something like the HyperPad flourish in the hands of students. It’s not just confined to the classroom. Thanks to the mobility, he can go anywhere and do anything.

From kindergarten to career

Of course, technology is already ingrained in the educational journey. From an early age, children interact with word processors, presentation software and more. And as they progress through each grade level, they learn to access more features to use this technology to its best effect.

It’s the kind of software that grows with students using it, Saadat says, whether they build the world’s longest Rube Goldberg virtual machine as a school project or make a living as adults by selling applications created on the platform.

And that’s the beauty of the hyperPad, says Sadat: “It is accessible from a very young level of education up to post-secondary level and beyond,” he says. “Our tool is rugged enough that you can still use it professionally on the road. “



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